North Kent College’s Public Service students were recognised at a graduation ceremony to acknowledge their involvement in a bespoke National Citizen Service programme. 

Level 1 and 2 students from both campuses have been working with the NCS to gain experience and confidence to further them in their future careers. The NCS, which is run by Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) in this area, aims to instil transferable life skills to support young people in their transition from adolescents to young adults.

NCS Officer and Programme Manager at CACT, Iain Ball commented “I’m very proud of those individuals that showed a full commitment to the programme and gained so much from it. They have pushed themselves past a lot of their comfort zones and gone above and beyond to the call of duty to achieve more than they expected of themselves”.

The first part of the programme involved the group heading to Gilwern Park residential centre in Wales to take part in emotional and physically demanding activities such as canoeing, rock climbing and team building challenges. By pushing them outside of their comfort zone it promotes emotional intelligence and resilience in future years.

The second part took the skills they learnt at the centre, and implemented them into planning and delivering a social action project or community team challenge. They had to identify as a group, something they wanted to change, or challenge, within their local community. One team raised £189.70 for Ellenor and another reached a total of £111.74 for YMCA. Others wanted to support a current campaign to raise the awareness of the cause. Demelza was promoted within the college and local community by some students, whilst others focused on Motor Neurone Disease Association and the work they are doing. Some of the activities involved bake sales, tea mornings and even sleeping rough for the homeless! 

Andrew Fraser, Curriculum Manager Public Services, spoke of how “NCS gives students the opportunity to learn new skills that will help the community and make our students more employable”. This is not just shown in the increased awareness in the community, but also through the benefit of the programme being recognised by UCAS. This means that any of the NKC students who wish to go on to Higher Education may be considered by a University over someone who is not a graduate but has the same credentials. 

NCS are keen to continue their involvement with students at NKC and actively encourage NCS graduates to stay in touch and continue to support the programme by volunteering in future opportunities, which may lead into paid employment with CACT NCS.

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